What Can’t You Come To The Missouri State Fair Without?
I don't know about you guys, but I know pretty much every year I head out the Fairgrounds during the big festivities.
And while I'm not judging, I kind of do look twice at people who are walking around the grounds with a ton of stuff that's not organized. I'm not talking about SuperMom, who has all the swag and giveaways and what not nestled in every last pocket of the baby's stroller. And I'm not talking about the fine disabled folks to rent scooters or use wheelchairs and have bags and baskets attached to put all their stuff in. Or even the people who look like they're on a hiking trip with a huge backpack full of goodies. I'm talking about the person who Clearly either doesn't care about comfort or has never been to the Fair before. You know what I mean. Dudes in all black with no hat or sunglasses with seven shopping bags, or ladies in three inch heels, some kind of heavy sequined shirt, with a huge purse PLUS all the goodies they got on the grounds. Amateurs.
No, folks, I've learned a thing or two over the years when it comes to going out to the Fair, and the biggest lesson I've learned is to keep it lightweight. After all, if I'm gonna be out there, I'm probably going to be out there for hours, if not all day. You don't wanna get bogged down carrying heavy stuff if it can be helped. And I've got a smaller, more compact and streamlined bag that I carry with me for JUST when I'm on the grounds every year (or on a walking/busy vacation, to be fair). Here's the essentials for a well stocked Fair Bag.
First of all, at least for me (might be job specific), gotta make sure you have your credentials. Badge and hangtag for proper parking. But I also have to have a hat to protect my poor little sunburn prone head. Sunburned scalps are not a fun time.
I also don't carry my "everyday" bag with me. I carry something smaller, something easy to throw over my shoulder, with a limited capacity for just the essentials. No more, no less. You don't need to be bogged down on the asphalt with a bunch of stuff you "might" want, that never gets used. I also like a smaller shoulder bag so I can easily keep it front of me in case someone decides to get handsy and try to take it. It's never happened, but it could. If I have it on me and in front of me, I can keep an eye on it.
Doesn't hurt that it's cute as heck.
Next, lip balm. That can be something you so, so easily forget that will cause you some pain later. Either with sunburn or with eating too much hot/salty food... ya gotta protect those lips. They're sensitive.
SUNSCREEN. Even if you're staying in the buildings, even if it's cloudy, even if you're not a person that burns... it's never a bad idea to have it. I have a kind of stick sunscreen that's easy to apply and easy to stash away. It's also not as sticky, so you don't dread the re-apply. The re-apply is crucial. You're gonna be a sweaty mess, you're gonna melt off your first layer.
Hand sanitizer. I know you don't want to think about it, and frankly, neither do I, but it can't hurt to stay safe. And after all, you don't know where ANY of these people have been. That bag of nuts you bought might have been handled by a five year old kid with their hand down their shorts just a few minutes before. Sanitize your hands.
And, well, keys. Gotta have those.
When it comes to money, again, I only carry the essentials. To me, if I'm carrying more than one card, that's more opportunities for those cards to get stolen. ID, one credit/debit card, and just a little bit of cash. Not a lot, just a little bit just in case. This also limits me so that I'm not sucking down seventeen deep fried Oreos, because if "I don't have the money", I can't spend it. Sure, you wanna spend some, but if you set a daily budget/limit, you're golden.
And this one might again be controversial, but... I'm gonna wear a mask on the grounds again this year. I know not everyone wants to, not everyone is going to, but for me, I will. It's just something I feel like I should do. But that one's up to each person, I think.
What are some things you've GOT to be sure you bring with you when you hit the Fairgrounds? What are some things you always have to leave at home? Do you have a "system" to get you and your family on the grounds efficiently?